In the early 1920s, the sole purpose of a business used to be productivity. Hence, the concept of human relations management came into existence wherein the main focus of the businessmen was their labour and not machines. People had realized the need for uplifting the most essential asset of a business that is labour. Under this theory, the employees of a firm are supervised and motivated in an altruistic manner so that they work willingly and not forcefully. Although not every manager embraces this essential aspect of a business, there’s no doubt that it has changed the overall management practice for better results.
Human relations management involves procuring, developing, maintaining and appraising a competent and satisfied workforce to achieve the desired organizational goals efficiently and effectively. Its purpose is to enable every human being working in the organization to make best possible contribution towards the business. According to Michael Jucious, “it is an aspect of management which comprises organizing, planning and controlling various functional activities of developing, procuring, utilizing and maintaining a labour force in such a way that the interest and objective for which the company is set up are attained as economically and effectively as possible and the interest and objectives of all levels of the community are served to the highest possible degree.” In the words of Edwin Filippo, management of human relations is “concerned with the development, procurement, integration, compensation and maintaining the staff of a business firm for contributing towards the accomplishment of that organisation’s major policies and goals.”
Management of human relations in a business comprise of several steps. It involves training and development, supervising and motivating the employees. Training and development programs are held in a business to improve the skills of an employee so that they are able to perform some work. These programs are essential to make the employees acquainted with the new technology and work methods. They help an employee to become versatile and prepare them for future jobs.
Supervision may be defined as overseeing people at work from above by a superior to ensure that they are working in a desired manner to achieve the desired organizational goals. It should be emphasized here that the employee must not be coerced into doing some work. Instead, friendly approach must be ensured by the supervisor. In a business, motivation means inducing the employees to work hard for achieving common organizational goals. It is in fact the most essential part of human relations in a business as proper motivation can take the business to great heights. It inspires the employees to work hard to achieve the set goals.
A vital part of managing human relations in a firm is Maslow’s theory. According to Maslow, human needs can be classified into five categories and can be arranged in order of their importance or priority. These are physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualisation needs. It is quite necessary for a business to look after the fulfillment of these needs as they are an employee’s greatest motivator. In a nutshell, the managers must be sensitive to the needs of subordinates and create a job environment conducive to the satisfaction of their needs.